ALPFA attendees grasped the value of risk management and diversification

Future Hispanic business leaders tallied higher scores on a personal finance quiz than average Americans but still need access to more information, according to survey results announced by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company in 2011 according to FORTUNE magazine.

On August 8, 2011, half (50%) of ALPFA 2011 Annual Convention attendees passed Northwestern Mutual’s Financial Matters Quiz, which tests people’s knowledge of financial concepts and products, outpacing the national average of 31% who passed the quiz in November 2010.

Most ALPFA attendees had a strong grasp of basic financial concepts:

  • Most understood the definitions of diversification (95.8% answered correctly), asset allocation (88.3%) and dollar-cost averaging (57%).
  • A vast majority understood the value of some financial products, accurately selecting the benefits of disability insurance and fixed annuities (85.5% and 87.4% respectively).

“If you want to see who tomorrow’s financially-secure business leaders might be, see who’s consistently strengthening their money management skills today,” said Gregory Jones, Northwestern Mutual director of diversity and inclusion. “The results show that half of the next generation’s Hispanic business chiefs who passed our quiz are better prepared to achieve financial security both for themselves and for the organizations they’ll guide.”

The results did reveal some financial knowledge gaps among ALPFA 2011 attendees.

With regards to financial concepts:

  • Half of respondents (52.8%) grasped that, historically, stocks have offered the best protection against inflation compared to bonds
  • Nearly two thirds, (72%) realized that “529 plans” are used for college savings, as opposed to health care or retirement
  • Just over half (57%) of respondents knew that the average rate of inflation is closer to 3% than 6% or 9%

Survey results also revealed:

  • One-in-five (18.7%) knew that permanent life insurance policy owners can earn dividends
  • About one-in-seven (13.1%) understood that the cash value built up within a permanent life insurance policy is tax-deferred and can be accessed at any time

“The results echo many recent studies showing that the benefits of permanent life insurance – growth, flexibility and guarantees – aren’t well-known by all Americans, including those of Hispanic origin,” continued Jones. “This honest assessment will hopefully spur professionals to learn more about permanent life insurance and other personal finance tools.”

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About the Research

Conducted on Monday, August 8, 2011, 214 ALPFA attendees answered Northwestern Mutual’s “Financial Matters” Quiz, which tests people’s knowledge of financial concepts and products.

This poll marks the first in series of polls by Northwestern Mutual, with the aim of bringing continued awareness to personal finance issues. The company will also conduct similar surveys at:

  • National Association of Women MBA (NAWMBA) National Conference
  • National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) Conference and Exposition
  • National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) Conference and Career Expo
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